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News & Reviews
Last 7 Days
By Mitchell Oke
Quick Specs
$36,990 before on-road costs
three year/unlimited kilometre
See the full specs Read the full review
By Mitchell Oke

So, where did you go on your date?

Nothing too fancy, spent most of the time commuting to meetings and going out for dinner before heading home.

Ideal first date?

The standard Volkswagen Golf really shines as an everyday car, so tackling traffic, potholes and rain is the sort of thing it's going to encounter all too often.

Hot or not?

The Golf certainly looks the business with the new R-line package. For an extra $2200 over the Highline model you get sporty bumpers and skirts, dark 18-inch Salvador alloy wheels, sports suspension, R-line steering wheel with paddles and sports pedal covers. Not a fan of the diesel though, it lacks the refinement and response of the 103TSI models without offering any appreciable benefits in day-to-day driving.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

The interior offers top-notch quality, and the R-line steering wheel looks really good.

This biggest problem is that the 110TDI Highline doesn't feel any more special than the base model 90TSI. Things that are great for $21,490 entry-level Golf 90TSI ($23,990 with DSG) become less-so when the price tag is nudging $37k. The 5.8-inch touchscreen is low-res, a problem that extends all the way up to the red-hot Golf R. Even Skoda's get a bigger 8-inch high-res screen!

The glossy black plastic trim is easily scratched and always dusty, and the dark headliner in this spec makes the cabin less airy than those with lighter tones.

Standout features?

The Golf is a very roomy car, with great rear seat space and access, and a big boot. Extra points for rear seat air vents!

Annoying habits?

In base form, the Golf rides exceptionally well, but with the 18-inch wheels and sports suspension the suppleness has been lost. While it handles nicely and doesn't crash over bumps, it's not the serene place the chubbier-tyred models are. The diesel doesn't help, with a louder sound and slower response than the 90TSI or 103TSI models.

Ready for a family?

For sure, it's one of the most spacious hatches you can get.

High maintenance?

Volkwagen continue to work on their DSGs, but history tells us that it could be a money burner when the warranty runs out. With competitors offering five, six and seven-year unlimited kilometre warranties, the Golf's three-year, unlimited km warranty is behind the times.

Any deal-breakers?

The price. Lesser Golf's are simply better value. I'd save almost $10k and take the better value 90TSI Comfortline over this sportier diesel variant every day of the week.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

We'll be parting ways. At $36,990 the 110TDI Highline with R-Line simply doesn't bring enough equipment. Features like keyless start, projector headlights, sunroofs and active safety features like Autonomous Emergency Braking are still optional. You don't even get leather! This car is easily over $40k before on-roads if you add a few extra luxuries.

Keeping your options open?

Other models in the Golf line-up offer a much better value and comfort proposition. If you're looking for a sporty Golf you should stump up the extra and get the GTI.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

People who want to save the smallest amount of fuel over the petrol models, but the loss of refinement isn't worth it.